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Journal Articles IEEE Transactions on Robotics Year : 2024

GJK++: Leveraging Acceleration Methods for Faster Collision Detection


Collision detection is a fundamental computational problem in various domains, such as robotics, computational physics, and computer graphics. In general, collision detection is tackled as a computational geometry problem, with the so-called Gilbert, Johnson, and Keerthi (GJK) algorithm being the most adopted solution nowadays. While introduced in 1988, GJK remains the most effective solution to compute the distance or the collision between two 3D convex geometries. Over the years, it was shown to be efficient, scalable, and generic, operating on a broad class of convex shapes, ranging from simple primitives (sphere, ellipsoid, box, cone, capsule, etc.) to complex meshes involving thousands of vertices. In this article, we introduce several contributions to accelerate collision detection and distance computation between convex geometries by leveraging the fact that these two problems are fundamentally optimization problems. Notably, we establish that the GJK algorithm is a specific sub-case of the well-established Frank-Wolfe (FW) algorithm in convex optimization. By adapting recent works linking Polyak and Nesterov accelerations to Frank-Wolfe methods, we also propose two accelerated extensions of the classic GJK algorithm. Through an extensive benchmark over millions of collision pairs involving objects of daily life, we show that these two accelerated GJK extensions significantly reduce the overall computational burden of collision detection, leading to up to two times faster computation timings. Finally, we hope this work will significantly reduce the computational cost of modern robotic simulators, allowing the speed-up of modern robotic applications that heavily rely on simulation, such as reinforcement learning or trajectory optimization.
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Dates and versions

hal-04070039 , version 1 (14-04-2023)
hal-04070039 , version 2 (29-11-2023)
hal-04070039 , version 3 (03-04-2024)



  • HAL Id : hal-04070039 , version 3


Louis Montaut, Quentin Le Lidec, Vladimír Petrík, Josef Sivic, Justin Carpentier. GJK++: Leveraging Acceleration Methods for Faster Collision Detection. IEEE Transactions on Robotics, In press. ⟨hal-04070039v3⟩
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